Dr Kate Hutson's research examines aquatic animal parasitology issues that threaten wild, farmed and ornamental fishes. Her research integrates parasite species discovery and biology (taxonomy, life cycles, ecology and behaviour) with practical, applied research (risk-assessment, disease diagnosis, management and treatment) designed to deliver tangible outcomes for fisheries, aquaculture industry and biosecurity management. This combination of pure and applied research has led to the development of unique and strong partnerships between industry, government agencies and other tertiary institutions.   

Kate graduated with a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours from the University of Melbourne and a PhD in Marine Parasitology from the University of Adelaide. She has maintained the Marine Parasitology Laboratory at James Cook University since 2010, and currently supervises eight postgraduate students. In 2015 she won a National Teaching Award for her contribution to undergraduate and postgraduate classes in aquaculture.


  • AQ2001: Introduction to Aquaculture (Level 2; TSV)
  • AQ3015: Sustainable Aquaculture (Level 3; TSV)
  • AQ5006: Aquaculture: Principles and Practices (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5015: Sustainable Aquaculture (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5806: Aquaculture: Introductory Principles and Practices (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5815: Sustainable Aquaculture Principles and Practices (Level 5; TSV)
  • 2013 to present - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, Queensland)
  • 2010 to 2012 - Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, Queensland)
  • 2007 to 2009 - Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Adelaide (Adelaide, South Australia)
  • 2002 to 2003 - Research Assistant, University of Technology Sydney (Gore Hill, New South Wales)
Research Disciplines
  • 2016 - People's choice award: Reperio - Innovation and Commercialisation Pitch
  • 2015 - Young Tall Poppy Science Award, Australian Institute of Policy & Science and the Tall Poppy Campaign
  • 2015 - National Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • 2015 - James Cook University Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • 2013 - My Research in 3 minutes, People’s Choice Award, James Cook University
  • 2013 - My Research in 3 minutes, Early Career Researcher Award, James Cook University
  • 2013 - High Commendation, Early Career Researcher Supervisor of the Year, James Cook University
  • 2009 - Early Career Researcher Award for the most meritorious scientific paper at the Australian Society for Parasitology and ARC/NHMRC Research Network for Parasitology Annual Conference, The University of Sydney, New South Wales

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 24+ research outputs authored by Dr Kate Hutson from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Equity Trustees - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

The effect of habitat degradation on host-parasite interactions in coral reef fish

Indicative Funding
This project will investigate how the degradation of coral reef habitats impacts the abundance and composition of parasites on/within key herbivorous coral reef fish species. In doing so, this study will explore likely changes in the health and condition of these fishes, as reefs continue to degrade. It is hypothesised that parasite community structure will differ largely between healthy and degraded habitats (e.g. coral vs. rubble and macroalgal-dominated habitats), resulting in increased infection by parasites with life histories favoured by degradation, disturbance and reduced habitat. Such changes in parasite community structure are hypothesised to lead to an initial increase in parasite-induced disease epidemics in response to habitat degradation.
Katie Motson, Andrew Hoey and Kate Hutson (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and College of Science & Engineering)
Parasites; Degradation; Health; Fish; Coral Reef; Herbivore

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • The Impacts of Coral Reef Health on Fish-Parasite Interactions (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Cleaner organisms clean up in culture: a solution for sustainable parasite management (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Mitigating the effects of Acroporo-eoting flatworms on captive Acropora colonies (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Strategic Approaches to Identifying Pathogens of Quarantine Concern Associated with the Importation of Ornamental Fish. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Systematics, Phylogeny and Biogeorgraphy of the Marine Isopod Crustacean Family Cirolanidae of Indonesia. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Developing Captive Breeding Techniques for two Marine Ornamental Crabs: The Harlequin Crab Lissocarcinus Laevis and the Decorator Crab Camposcia Retusa (Masters , Secondary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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